Showing posts from April, 2016

Hard and not so hard political choices

Several states have recently passed laws regarding civil rights for LGBT persons. These laws tend to restrict individual rights. They were apparently enacted as a backlash against the Supreme Court decision that legalized same sex marriage. One state that has passed such a law is North Carolina, where I lived prior to moving to Hawaii. North Carolina's law prohibits North Carolina localities from passing laws to protect the rights of LGBT persons and stipulates that individuals use the public restroom provided for persons of the gender listed on the individual's birth certificate. By nature, I intend toward libertarianism. That is, I think that laws should be a last resort; people should enjoy maximum freedom. However, laws should establish boundaries that equitably limit the individual exercise of freedom. For example, individuals should not have the right to discriminate against other persons based on religion, sex, political affiliation, ethnicity, race, or gender o

Freedom and submission

We humans value freedom for at least two reasons. First, the idea of freedom is integral to our self-image, i.e., we generally think of ourselves as being free and widely identify freedom as a primary good. The central narratives of the Old and New Testaments, the Exodus and the resurrection, both have liberation as their defining theme. Second, because we humans believe that we are free, we hold one another morally accountable for our actions. Conversely, we deem it morally unjust to hold a person morally accountable for an act over which the person had no control. Analogously, we blame any wrongs done by a drone not on the drone but on the person(s) who authorized, programed, or controlled the drone. Given those observations, what do the several biblical exhortations to live as a free person mean for twenty-first century Christians? Forty plus years ago, the instruction I received in seminary tended to juxtapose freedom in Christ and bondage to sin. The latter pole was clearly e